The Symbol Cane

Find out everything you need to know about the symbol cane and what it is used for in this video.

The Symbol Cane can be an invaluable asset for blind or visual impaired individuals to communicate to others, that they have poor vision or perhaps that they might need a little assistance.


The symbol cane is a tool used by people with sight loss as a means of signalling their visual impairment to others. This small and not particularly long cane serves as a discreet way for individuals with visual impairments to communicate that they have difficulty seeing. The cane is especially valuable for those who do not use guide dogs, large canes, or dark glasses.

In a video filmed in Liverpool, Simon Merrills, a Rehabilitation Officer for Henshaws, explains the significance of the symbol cane. Simon himself has a visual impairment due to a condition called Iritis Uveitis, which originated from juvenile arthritis. He emphasises that there are various causes of visual impairment, making it essential to raise awareness and understanding about the different ways people can experience sight loss.

The symbol cane serves as an indicator that the person using it cannot see well, particularly in situations like walking into shops or navigating busy streets. By using the symbol cane, individuals can avoid being misunderstood as rude or ignorant, as it effectively communicates their visual impairment to others. The cane can be held diagonally across the front of the person or by their side, depending on their preference for visibility.

The video advocates for the importance of sharing knowledge about the symbol cane and encourages its use to promote independence and assist people living with sight loss. By using the cane, individuals can enhance their interactions with others, such as when asking for assistance on public transport or in unfamiliar environments.

In conclusion, the symbol cane is a vital tool for individuals with visual impairments to communicate their needs to others discreetly. By understanding its significance, society can better accommodate and support those living with sight loss. The video encourages viewers to share this knowledge and contribute to the cause of empowering individuals with visual impairments to lead independent lives.

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